Community Supported Agriculture

  October 5, 2011  |    Blog

Have you ever heard of Community Supported Agriculture (CSA)? CSAs are subscription programs some farmers offer that allow you to purchase a certain produce package at the beginning of the year (or farming season, depending where you live) and receive produce weekly from that farm, dropped off at a central location in town. Since the food you receive is what the farmers are currently harvesting, it is all ultra-fresh! For most CSAs, the produce is mainly vegetables, and often the contents are predetermined, but not always.

It’s fun each week to receive your bag from CSA as you’ll likely get new veggies that you’ve never tried and it keeps things exciting and fun. You can wow your taste buds with new foods and expand your horizons.

Also, by talking to different farmers you can find a farm that also includes other farm products (such as cheese, homemade bread, eggs, flowers, meat and fruit to name a few) or allows subscribers to “mix-and—match” their own boxes. CSAs are becoming more and more popular, with drop sites popping in an increasing number of towns.

If you can’t find a CSA drop site close to you, find a local farmer’s market and talk to the farmers about creating a new drop site. If you and a few others from your area show interest, the farmer may be more than willing to make an extra stop when dropping off member’s boxes.

When you become a member of a CSA, you play a direct roll in the farming and production of your own food. However, due to the direct role you play, you share some of the risks of farming. For example, if there is unfavorable weather or pests, resulting in a bad harvest, the members will receive less produce than expected.

If joining a CSA is something that interests you, but the cost seems too high, know that there are creative ways to reduce the price. One great idea is to ask friends and neighbors about splitting the weekly produce you receive, in other words getting one membership between two or three friends.

Do you subscribe to a CSA? If so, how do you like it? If not, would you ever consider it?

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